Former MI5 intelligence officer and famed whistleblower
Expert on intelligence issues, surveillance, digital civil liberties, war on drugs, press freedoms, whistleblowers and Middle Eastern politics
European Director, LEAP (2012-present)
Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service. During that time she was responsible for investigating political and terrorist targets, before resigning to help her former partner and colleague, David Shayler, blow the whistle on the crimes, incompetence and lack of accountability of the spies. As the story made headlines around the world, they were forced to go on the run around Europe and live in exile in France for 3 years.
Drawing on her varied experiences, she is now a writer, media pundit, political campaigner, and PR consultant on a variety of intelligence-related and civil liberties issues. She has a rare perspective both on the inner workings of governments, intelligence agencies and the media, as well as a new-found love for all things geek and the need to protect digital freedoms. She is an international leader in advocating the wider implications for the need for increased openness and accountability in both public and private sectors.
In 2005, Annie published her first book, “Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair” in which she offers criticism of MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service based on her observations of the two whilst in the employment of MI5. She also features regularly in international press, giving her expert insight on intelligence matters, global geopolitics, digital civil liberties and surveillance issues.
She is currently the European Director of LEAP, a global group of serving and former police officers, lawyers, judges, intelligence officers, prison governors, customs officers and former drug czars. LEAP speakers have worked on the front line of the failed “war on drugs” policy, recognise this abject failure, and as a result campaign for the end to prohibition.
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